Image of a group of walkers taking part in The South Downs Trek

South Downs Trek – on the day info

We're looking forward to seeing you on Saturday!

On this page:

Here are all the details you need for Saturday 30 September, please take time to read this carefully as it will give you all the information you need to help you plan your day.

Registration & Parking | What to do on the day | What to bring | Essential items | Route overview and refreshment stops | Navigation | Maps | Signage | Caution Areas | Cut off times | First Aid | Vehicle Support | GPS Tracking | Event Control | What3Words | Photography and filming | Boost your fundraising | Final top tips | Thank you!

Registration & Parking

The Northbrook Metropolitan College, Littlehampton Rd, Worthing, BN12 6NU

Please note there are two Northbrook Colleges, be sure to get the right one!

You will leave your car in the secure car park for the duration of your challenge.


Once parked please make your way to the registration desk which is located inside Northbrook College. You will be asked to confirm your mobile number and emergency contact details. Please note your emergency contact should not be someone taking on the challenge with you. You will then be issued with your event pack, which will include.

  • Unique Walker Number, please attach this somewhere visible. (We will supply the safety pins)
  • Unique GPS tracker *please note if this is not returned you will be charged £50+VAT per tracker
  • Control Centre contact numbers
  • Emergency procedure

Please aim to arrive on time and leave plenty of time for any delays. If you are late, it  impacts the rest of the group being able to start the trek on time. You  need to register and attend the safety briefing before beginning your trek.

If you are running late please call Sophie Brice on 07961 937278.What to do on the day

  • 05:45   Car park opens
  • 06:00   Registration opens
  • 06:30   Registration closes
  • 06:35   Safety Briefing
  • 06:40   Warm up
  • 06:45   Trek starts

What to bring

Please refer to the kit list when packing for the trek. We are dependent on the British weather, so we advise you to bring plenty of layers, including a base layer and waterproofs. Sunblock and a hat. Please note you will need to be wearing your walking boots and kit on arrival as there is no provision for  personal items whilst on your challenge. With the weather we have received over the last week, the ground could be very wet, water logged, and potentially slippery in places especially over the South Downs chalk and flint paths. Please ensure you are dressed and have appropriate footwear.

Top Tip:

Pack your rucksack to no more than 30L, you only want to take your essential items with you. The bigger the bag, the tendency is to fill it up, meaning you are carrying a heavier weight.

Essential items

  • Walking boots, worn in, and with ankle support
  • Your mobile phone fully charged and with credit
  • Strava App, route map pre downloaded
  • What3Words App
  • Battery charging pack (with appropriate cables)
  • Waterproofs, with tapered seams
  • Waterproof bag lining to avoid the contents of your bag getting wet during any rain.
  • Personal first aid kit, including; sun protection, antihistamines, and any personal medication you may need
  • Blister plasters, recommended to put on before you start as a preventative
  • Water bottle/hydration system, minimum of 2-3 litres. You will be able to refill at the rest stops on route.
  • Personal bin bag, nappy bags or dog bags work well, please take all rubbish with you.
  • Snacks to see you throughout the day
  • Energy gels, glucose tabs to give you a burst of energy towards the end of the challenge

Route overview and refreshment stops

The first leg of your journey will see you set off north into the stunning ancient woodland of Angmering Park Estates.

You will find your first rest stop at 5.5 miles at Chestnut Tree House. Pop to the loo, grab a croissant and a coffee then have a moment of reflection at the remembrance gardens, before heading off through the Orchard and back into the woods.

At mile 9 the 13.1 mile trekkers will continue on through the woods to start their return leg of their trek. While the 26.2 mile trekkers will be directed north towards the South Downs Way hitting two further rest stops at mile 9.5 and 12.5.

At Kithurst Hill you will make your way east along the South Downs Way, traversing chalk paths and taking in the breath taking panoramic views, at the highest elevation of the trek.

Dropping South you will head towards Findon Village Hall, where you can stop for lunch. After lunch you will head east through peaceful farmland and rolling hills before dropping south to reach your final refreshment stop.

The last leg takes you south through idyllic woodland, before re-joining your outward journey back to Goring-by-Sea, finishing at St Barnabas House.

Please note you will need to be clear of the rest stops by the latest time slots above, this is to ensure you can complete the challenge within daylight hours. If you reach the rest stops later than the timings above, you will be picked up and driven forward on the route by the Events Crew.

If you have any food allergies, please let us know as soon as possible if you have not already done so. 01903 254777 or email at


The route is a self-navigated route, it will however be marked the entire way. There will be a trek leader at the front of each distance along with   back walkers as well as various check points.

Strava GPX Map

Below are links to a Strava GPX route and the GPS Map. We strongly recommend downloading the Strava App (it’s free) and pre downloading the route onto your phone. You can use this throughout your challenge to ensure you are on the right route.


The GPS Map link is the live map which you can share with your friends and family so they can virtually cheer you on. You can use this as a navigation tool on the day, however as it is website based, it will drain your phone battery quickly.

If you do not wish to use the digital maps you will need to rely on the arrow markers to assist in your navigation. Each participant will be issued with a GPS tracker, so we always know your position. You will not be issued with a paper map. If you start to deviate from the route your eyes in the sky at Event Control will call you and guide you back onto the route. If at any point you think you are on the wrong path, please call Event Control and they will be able to support you.


The signage pictured is the signage you will be following on the day. Please note that the arrows are branded and will have both St Barnabas House and Chestnut Tree House branding. These are A6 signs so please keep an eye out for these.

The arrow pictured will be your directional arrows and will tell you which path and direction to follow. You will be following white arrows on your outbound journey and black arrows on your inbound journey.

Caution Areas

The route encompasses varied terrain, some of the chalk and gravel sections have far less traction and there is a risk of slips, trips and falls. On these sections, we suggest you shorten your stride length to give you more control. On the wilder areas of the route there may be a risk of rabbit holes which can cause sprains and in worst cases breaks to the ankle. Always take care and look where you are walking. A simple miss step could mean the end of your challenge, so take care. This being said, remember to look up every now and again to take in your surroundings, you are doing something amazing and the scenery will be beautiful!

You will be crossing fields that have live animals and cattle. These could be sheep, cows, goats, or horses. Never approach the animals and always give them a wide birth,  keep calm, and do not make any sudden movements or loud noises. If you follow this guidance the animals will not bother you. If you have any fears or would like to speak to a member of the team about passing cattle, please feel free to get in touch. On the day, we advise you to buddy up with someone when passing through these areas for extra safety.

There are a few busy roads that you will need to cross. We will have marshals on each road crossing, but our marshals do not have the power to stop traffic, nor should you or they try to do so. Please take each road crossing safely and slowly, making sure it is safe to cross before doing so.

Cut off times

To ensure your safety, and the completion of your trek within day light hours., If you have not reached the below check points within time frame below, the crew will pick you up and move you forward to enable you to finish safely.

Please remember this is not a race but an endurance challenge, feel free to walk at your own pace but do try to stay in small groups, especially if the weather takes a turn for the worse. Do not pass the lead walkers, they are there to set the pace and ensure you complete the walk in good time. If you overtake the lead walkers, you will be unsupported by the event. At no point will the end walker overtake you, but they will encourage you to keep up the pace to ensure you are keeping within the timings to complete your challenge.

First Aid

There is first aid throughout the challenge provided by Phoenix Medical Services Ltd. We want to keep you safe throughout your trek and they will be checking on you at strategic points to ensure it is still safe for you to continue. If they  deem  it is unsafe for you to continue we will bring you back to Event Control by a vehicle. This is not something we want to do and will only undertake if advised by our specialists.  Please remember this is for your own safety.

Vehicle Support

We will have three roaming vehicles; one minibus for pickups and two 4x4s for the harder to reach spots on route. If you injure yourself on route, please contact Event Control immediately using your emergency contact details provided in your lanyard pack. If you are alone and are in a no signal zone, please stop and the end walker will catch up with you and will be able to call for help for support.

GPS Tracking

Your GPS tracker has the SOS button enabled. If you find yourself in real trouble, have hurt yourself, and need immediate attention, please hold down the SOS button for at least 5 seconds. This will put out a distress call to Event Control who will contact you to arrange emergency recovery. Don’t worry the team will be on hand on the morning of your challenge to talk you through how it all works.

Event Control

Event Control will be the eyes in the sky and if your GPS has not moved for 30 minutes then we will contact you to check how you are. Your safety is paramount, but you need to play your part. Watch your footing and take care by not putting yourself or others at risk. Please also ensure that you have any inhalers, personal medication or EpiPen’s with you at all times.

We recommend saving both Event Control numbers to your phones before the day. They will also be in your lanyard pack on the day.


What3Words is an app that has been created to help in specific navigation and precise locations. Every 3-metre square of the world has been given a unique combination of three words. Please download What3Words to your mobile phone to be able to use this function on the day. It is strongly recommended for ease of use and your safety. We advise you to have a play before the day, so you are familiar with how it works. A good practise is to find your own house!

To download, head to your app store or follow this link:

Photography and filming

Your challenge media team will be out on route at various points, give them a wave and big smile as you pass by, all photos will be available on our Facebook page after the event. Our Marketing Team will be at Chestnut Tree House and would love the opportunity to learn more about you and why you have decided to take on this epic journey what the hospice means to you.

If you would prefer not to have your photo taken, please let a member of staff know on the day.

Top tips to boost your fundraising

The day of your epic journey is the perfect time to boost your fundraising! This is the time to shout from the hill tops about your incredible hard work and feat of endurance. Tell the story of your challenge day, with posts about you setting off early in the morning, reaching check points and that all important medal once you cross the finish line. Don’t miss out on the perfect opportunity to let your friends and family know how hard you are working for your local hospice. Don’t forget to include the link to your JustGiving page!

Final top tips

Blisters – if you feel a hot spot, stop, and look, it will only get worse. We advise you to put on blister plasters before walking as a preventative. There is nothing worse than a developing blister on a long walk, it can stop you in your tracks.

Battery life – if you have not already, invest in a power pack to keep your phone charged all day.

Food and drink – a rule of thumb, drink before your thirsty and eat before you are hungry. This will guarantee that you don’t dehydrate and always have enough energy to keep going. Avoid glugging water and eating food fast, little, and often is always better.

Pace – set a pace of around 2.5 miles per hour, this will ensure you have enough day light to finish the challenge and you are not pushing yourself to the point where you will run out of energy too fast.  It’s not a race, take it at your pace!

Stride – Keep your stride length short. It is much easier to recover your footing if your stride length is shorter. The trails are uneven and rabbit holes can appear as if from nowhere!

Layers – Base layer (anti-wicking), fleece/insulating layer, waterproof/outer layer. By layering up you can easily remove or add a layer as the weather changes. Avoid cotton and jeans!

Waterproofing – not all rucksacks come with a waterproof cover. Find a big zip-lock bag/ freezer bag or dry bag, and put all your belongings in this, inside your rucksack. You can even do smaller ones for things like mobile phones.